News‎ > ‎

The FAIR-MediaSind Federation calls on the Orban Government not to destroy the Culture and Media sector by populist measures!

postat 10 apr. 2020, 03:42 de Office Mediasind   [ actualizat la 10 apr. 2020, 03:43 ]
The Federation FAIR-MediaSind, the only representative organization, according to the law, at the level of the Culture and Media sector, asks the Romanian Government not to destroy this important area, by adopting populist measures, such as the obligation to start technical unemployment for the budgetary employees. 

The FAIR-MediaSind Federation points out to the rulers that the lack of social dialogue with the representatives of the representative trade union organizations in the sector, has generated the disastrous situation in which the more than 100,000 cultural and media workers are now. The leaders of the Ministry of Culture, most often people without vision, called politically, have adopted harmful policies, which have shown that, especially in times of crisis such as this one we are going through, can produce real human dramas in the system, both in central as well as local institutions.

As far as the media field is concerned, the situation is just as serious, because the lack of measures to protect the health of the employees, as well as their jobs, is detrimental to the public interest. Let us not forget that media institutions are vitally important for informing citizens in such difficult times. And a press with vulnerabilities cannot guarantee the correctness of the information. The most illustrative example in this regard is that of National Television, where, because of more than reprehensible political complicities, the abuse, illegality and uncertainty regarding the future of the institution are perpetuated. Thus, the largest state institution in the Mass-Media, the Romanian Television Corporation, is still managed by an incompetent management and accused of corruption by the inspectors of the Court of Auditors (details here: In the attention of the Presidency, the Parliament, the Government and the DNA: The decision of the Court of Auditors confirms the robbery of the National Television!), and the employees of this institution are obliged daily to work in conditions that put their lives at risk every day due to the lack of protection measures and sanitary materials, which exist only in the news releases of the management.

In the European Union, the international organizations to which FAIR-MediaSind is fully affiliated -  International Federation of Journalists,  International Federation of Musicians, International Federation of Actors, UNI Global Media,  European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have called on the European Commission and the European Parliament to take swift, targeted and coordinated actions in support of all workers - staff, freelancers and self-employed - and companies, in response to the devastating social and economic impact of the global COVID-19 crisis on the media sector.

COVID-19 creates a global crackdown on press freedom. Confronted with this pandemic, European citizens need professional journalists, economically secured, more than ever. The EU should support and encourage Member States to take action in this regard.

Urgent compensation sets of measures promoted by the EU and the Member States must be adopted without delay, in order to protect the jobs and incomes of the media workers, to support the companies, properly funding the public service media in this period of crisis. Thousands of media workers have already lost or are at risk of losing their jobs, either temporarily or permanently.

 “We met with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Věra Jourová and asked her to consider the media sector as a vital one. The press can save lives. The media, however, needs the support of governments, international and regional intergovernmental organizations, the support of media funding bodies for the implementation of the exceptional measures that are required now, "said the President of the European Federation of Journalists, Mogens Blicher Bjerregård.

"Instead of corporate tax cuts or social security cuts and share buybacks, EFJ is calling for specific measures to put more reporters on the ground," added Renate Schroeder, director of the European Federation of Journalists.

Plans to support the media in the EU and in the member countries should include the following measures:
Increasing national funding for public media and culture;

Direct financial assistance for newsrooms (direct, emergency subsidies for financing jobs in central and local newsrooms; deferral of repayment of media companies’ loans, without interest collection; granting loans to support the salaries of the media staff; increasing the share of public or government in the local press ...). Subsidies will be distributed by an independent body, taking into account objective criteria (protecting the jobs of journalists, the demonstrated decrease of the advertising revenues, endangered independent local media company ...); 

Providing EU and National funds to support new approaches to news publishing, especially at local or Community level. Grants, through a new independent body, to support community-based, independent journalism, adopting innovative solutions journalistic endeavors. These funds could be supported by a tax (2%) on advertising on online platforms.

Also, the requirements of the International Federation of Actors (IFA) and the media, entertainment and arts sector within the UNI Global Union (UNI-MEI) to support the economic sustainability of the creative sector are:

Economic aid and incentive packages targeted and adapted to the specific needs and practices of the sector.

Temporary and non-restrictive rules to target State aid must be rapidly implemented. Relaxing tax measures during the crisis, to ease the pressure on companies and workers.

The payment of employers' social security contributions should be deferred where necessary.

Funding bodies need to adapt their rules to provide best possible support for discontinued projects and to provide flexibility in project applications.
Direct subsidies must be granted to help cover immediate fixed costs, including labor. Subsidies should be preferred to loans.

Together with the FIA and UNI-MEI, EFJ, FAIR-MediaSind also calls on the European Union and national governments to support employees and self-employed persons. Many of them may not have enough resources to survive this crisis and may face a critical situation. That's why we make the following recommendations:

All workers in our sector, including freelancers and self-employed persons, should also be included in the economic and social assistance packages, directed to the culture and media sector, in order to preserve the potential of the workforce and the skills of the employees.
Protecting employees by isolation at home should not be done at the expense of their accrued leave rights.
Access to social assistance and paid medical leave is guaranteed without restrictions during waiting periods for all workers.
Access to unemployment benefits should be extended to withstand any prolonged effects of the crisis.

If the governments continue to show the same disrespect for the workers of the Culture and Media, the FAIR-MediaSind Federation will organize specific protest actions, especially during the future election campaigns, when the politicians' appetite for publicity and votes is growing to a highest!

Federation of Culture and Media FAIR-MediaSind
The Permanent Executive Office

Bucharest, April 9, 2020